For Hub City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — In the wake of the ongoing disaster brought on by Hurricane Harvey, two Mid-State Technical College instructors answered the call to join the rescue efforts. Steve Bakos, Marshfield, and Todd Eckes, Vesper, deployed for two weeks to serve on emergency response teams in the affected area. Both teach emergency medical services and fire protection at Mid-State.
Bakos, deputy chief of EMS at the Marshfield Fire and Rescue Department, serves as a paramedic on the Wisconsin-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team, an asset of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. He was deployed during his August rotation with the Minnesota 1 team. Eckes, captain of operations for the Wisconsin Rapids Fire Department, was deployed to Texas with the Wisconsin Type 2 Incident Management Team.
“Our instructors are known for being actively engaged in their professions to stay up to date with the skills and knowledge needed in today’s workforce,” explained Rick Anderson, associate dean of Mid-State’s School of Protective & Human Services. “No doubt, this is an extreme example of that, but we know that the students will immediately benefit from the insights and additional experience their instructors bring back with them and have a better understanding that their training is applicable to everyday emergencies and could someday put their skills on the biggest stage imaginable.”
According to Anderson, not much was known about the specifics of their missions.
“Last we heard, Bakos’ team was leaving a staging area in Dallas and heading to the greater Houston area,” Anderson stated.
Eckes was thought to be handling logistics for an operational area within the hurricane-affected region.
“We wish we knew more,” Anderson added, “but it’s not unusual for these types of emergency response teams to be out of touch back home while they focus on the mission.”
With Mid-State’s fall semester underway, Bakos’ and Eckes’ courses were taught by other instructors at the college until they could return.